New Natural Sciences Building Underway for UAS

Nov 22, 2022 | Construction, Education, News, Science

Construction of the Auke Bay Integrated Science Building at UAS began earlier this year and is scheduled to be completed by 2024.


​The structural portion of building the new Auke Bay Integrated Science Building (ABISB) at UAS formally concluded on October 31, 2022, with a “Sign the Beam” ceremony. Observing an ironworking tradition, students, staff, faculty, community members, and construction crew signed the final structural steel beam before it was erected in its place.

Replaces 60-Year-Old Lab

The ABISB aims to create a new home for teaching and research associated with the marine-oriented environmental and interdisciplinary science programs at the university’s Juneau campus.

Development began in 2016, followed by the acquisition of the property in 2017 and design approval in 2018. Site preparation was completed in the fall of 2019. After a delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction began early this year.

The ABISB will be a 12,000-square-foot, two-level teaching and laboratory building. With the demolition of the 60-year-old lab and three out-buildings, the new building has a smaller footprint, allowing students to better enjoy the natural surroundings of the Auke Bay waterfront. Located near the main Juneau UAS campus, the building will allow for enhanced learning opportunities with proximity to other classrooms and university activities.

The building is scheduled to be finished in time for classes in January 2024.

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The ABISB will house several new and upgraded educational spaces. There will be hands-on learning labs, including a water/soils ecology lab with attached clean room, and a forest ecology/glaciology/geophysics lab with attached dry room. Storage spaces—such as the freezer room, chemical storage, and research storage room—will help keep supplies organized and on hand. In addition to lab and storage spaces, the new building will also house a forty-student classroom, several faculty offices, an open workspace, and a collaboration space, among others.

$16.1 Million Project

A rendering of the new research and classroom building on the shore of Auke Bay.


UAS Chancellor Karen Carey noted, “The new building will allow our faculty to be housed together and allow them to collaborate on their research and teaching. We have waited a long time for this building to come to fruition and we are very excited as it continues toward completion.”

The $16.1 million project is funded through existing building capital funds, UAS building renewal and renovation reserves, proceeds from the sale of the Admin Services/Bookstore building, proceeds from the Board of Regents-mandated Juneau Campus Facility Fee, and internal reallocation of operating budget funds. Phase I of the project, consisting of demolition and site preparation, was completed under budget.

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